In almost all states and major cities in the country there are housing assistance programs. These programs exist for first time home buyers, teachers, low income families, etc. These programs are normally public, non-profit or church based. These organizations offer a variety of programs and assistance to first time home buyers. One service in particular is the down payment and closing cost help program. They offer funds in the form of grants and loans which buyers can use toward the down payment and closing costs for the purchase a home.
The loan program is usually available for qualified first time homebuyers, and enables them to borrow part of their down payment and/or closing costs. The grant programs are even better. You can use the grant toward the down payment, closing costs, or a combination of both. There are limitations to both programs such as income and length of time before the home owner can sell. In some cases the loan/grant must be used in combination with conventional mortgages, and usually the buyer is required to provide a small portion of the down payment out of pocket.
This information is valuable to house flippers and real estate investors who sell houses often. I offer this information to prospective buyers with details on how to contact the local associations. Even if they do not buy from me, the information remains valuable to the home seeker. I view it as another way to contribute in the future of the people of our nation.
Where to Find Housing Assistance
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, http://www.hud.gov/ , contains listings of government housing programs by state. If you are looking in the state of Maryland you can find the HUD list here. Be sure to search for information on both government and privately operated programs. You can also use search engines such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN to find information on programs in your area. A search for (”housing assistance programs” AND maryland) returned over 15 thousand results at the time of this article.
You can also contact the Department of Housing and Community Development for your particular state. The website for the state of Maryland can be found here. Be sure to specify which programs you are interested in. The website may already contain the information plus allow you to download the forms directly.